Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

The Pedagogy of a Rural Educator

30-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 1 – Goals!


The 30-Day Blogging Challenge from TeachThought listed the following topic for Day 1:

Write your goals for the school year. Be as specific or abstract as you’d like to be!

I’m honestly struggling with this one. I know I’ve got many goals for the school year, but sometimes they get lost in the ultimate goal – just keep teaching. I feel like there are days I completely loose focus of anything other than making sure I have something for my classes to do the next day. I have been trying to make myself more aware of what my big goals are – so that I can be more focused in my teaching.

I decided to write my goals in a kind-of different way. This stems from my experiences at the REMAST conference at South Dakota State University this summer. To read about that conference, and other professional development I participated in over the summer, click here! During that conference, I had the pleasure of hearing Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate, speak twice! During one of the sessions, he challenged us to each set our “5-Word GPS” for the year. To see a video and read more about the 5-Word GPS challenge, visit Dave’s blog here. Basically, the idea is that you should think of 5 words that you would want your students to use to describe your classroom. 

Here are my five words:

  • Energized
  • Challenging
  • Different
  • Active
  • Organized


One thing I have really been working on is putting on my game face every day, every class. Its very easy to get tired, worn-out, and even discouraged after a long day of teaching. However, I owe it to all my students (whether they are in 1st period or 8th period) to give it my best and show that energy throughout the day.


I definitely don’t want students to call my class “slack”, but I also don’t want them to call it “really, really hard”. I want them to feel like they got something out of the class, without feeling overwhelmed. That’s why I chose the word challenging. I believe it says, “I had to work, but I really learned something”.


I would love for every student to say, “Mrs. Koehler, the way you teach is so different from what we have seen before.” I don’t want to just do what has always been done.


Students should not sit in desks all day!! If I had to do that, I’d go crazy, so why would I make my students do it? I want my kids up and moving, doing things, and learning through hands-on activities.


Hello #1 challenge for me!! I have a terrible time staying organized! I have been working on creating ways to organize my life and classroom. Now, I just have to be diligent and really work to make those things happen.

Well, there it is, my 5-word GPS goals for the school year. Although we are already 2 weeks in, I think these 5 words will be a great reminder for me throughout the year. What is your 5-word GPS? Comment below or share on twitter!


Author: sdsuemko

I'm a high school science teacher in a small Minnesota town who loves the world of rural education. I am constantly striving to learn more about my craft and share what I find with others!

6 thoughts on “30-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 1 – Goals!

  1. Pingback: 30 Day Blogging Challenge | Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

  2. I like this idea. I will have to think about this one, but for now, I am off to watch that video.

  3. My five are challenging, fun, exciting, caring, and safe for the LIW building. Each teacher developed a list of five that I put into wordle for them to post in a visible place for a reminder all year long. An additional goal is to provide some after-school enrichment opportunities for our kiddos.

  4. I lie the 5-word GPS idea. Thanks for introducing it here. I have a few words in mind (caring, challenging, and inspiring), but I would love to get input from students on their words before we do our classroom makeover in a week or two.

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